Community Action Wellington Message Board › Notes from 29 January Meetup – Social and year planning
15 group members met for the January 2013 social and year planning event.
Spencer talked briefly about the 12 months that had passed since the group was formed, including some of the successes (reaching 200 members, scheduling 50 meetups, undertaking a wide range of conservation activities with a diverse range of groups) and some of the challenges (broadening out beyond conservation, events that did not get off the ground and a lack of time and helpers to really grow the group and flourish).
Members of the group talked about their own reasons for joining and what they were hoping to achieve from the group.
Main planning discussion
The discussion focussed on the next 12 months in terms of ambitions, making the most of opportunities and overcoming some of the challenges. There was a strong focus on desired outcomes, but also on practical ways to achieve those outcomes (“pathways”).
Some of the key objectives for the year, along with some initial ideas, were as follows:
1. Expanding beyond conservation to a broader community scope (e.g. social issues, food)
2. Making the most of the skills within the group (e.g. such as through a skills register or skill matching or through training and applying new skills that are in demand)
3. Contributing to the running of the group (e.g. volunteering for “microtasks” that are low effort but cumulative such as writing a press release, contacting a group or dedicating time to attack the groups’ “to do list”)
4. Expanding the Meetups that are posted to include more events of interest that were not organised by CAW (e.g. relevant meetings and activities such as talks and films planned by other groups such as 350.org and Chalkle) and making more use of the discussion forum feature
5. Building the community spirit and sense of belonging of the group (including “wellness”)
6. Expanding the profile and size of the group (e.g. such as through newspaper articles, library displays etc.)
More details on some of these ideas can be found below.
We made a lot of progress in identifying our ambitions for the year and some ideas, but there was not sufficient time to build a pathway to achieving all of our objectives. Group members therefore suggested another session focussed on practical steps, about a month later.
• Post a summary of the meeting on the discussion forum (ta da!)
• Arrange a follow up planning meeting one month later (all welcome!!!!!)
• Email the wider membership (maybe after the next planning meeting) including a reminder about adjusting email setting to avoid being swamped by meetup!
• Put out a call for people to lead discussion and generate action on each of the key issues nb not to do all the work on the issue!)
Appendix: more ideas on some of the above issues – more food for thought!
Running the group
• Existing models that we can learn from? – e.g. how do other, larger groups work?
Manage diversity of interests? – e.g. a large group could hold differently themed events
• Leadership – can one person really do all the organizing? What about creating rotating roles (e.g. held by one person for one month at a time), or
Education & awareness around issues of interests (talks, films)
Hub for ideas of interest
• Talks can lead to training & skill development & can be promoted elsewhere (beyond Meetup), e.g. library notice board, grocery store notice boards
• e.g. ‘Listen & Do’ model – have talk on Wednesday, then event on Saturday; or talk in the morning, then skills training in the afternoon – e.g. for straw bale house building workshop (or something else that people find interesting)
• Skills audit of CAW members – e.g. as simple as adding tick boxes to member profiles on Meetup website?
• Survey of skill shortages of other groups – is there a way to tap into this?
• Members have skills, and also know other people who have skills – huge potential skill base to be tapped! – e.g. using chainsaws
Micro-volunteering for Wellington region
• Sparked.com example – skills focus – link in with groups looking for volunteers with particular skills access to our skills
Social component to projects / whatever we do
• Pub meetups tend to have better attendance!
• Good communication as wellness model – provide opportunities for members to share their impressions, experiences, lessons learned at the end of an event
• Include wellness-promoting exercises into our events – e.g. fun ice-breakers, games, learning exercises, singing
• Organize events that promote wellness (feeling good), and find ways of bringing it to the community – e.g. sing-alongs or participative games with people in rest homes, hospitals
Projects exclusive to CAW or shared with other groups?
e.g. via micro-volunteering groups such as sparked.com (see Micro-volunteering discussion)
Food Growing / Feeding People
• Community Gardens
• talk to those running gardens & help them harvest or prepare food or understand what they are seeking to achieve
• are there groups we can link with?
• Identify land resources for new community gardens & work with Council to get it going
• e.g. Rhizohme Sustainability Trust’s community veggie garden
• e.g. Innermost Gardens - Mount Victoria, Newtown, Ohiro Bay
• Organic veggie box scheme – open days for us to attend as a group?
• Food foraging group to link up with?
• Food canning/preservation
• Teaching people to grow their own food
Group Identity & cohesiveness – our own community
• Inclusion of marginalized groups/individuals
• Having a social component to whatever we do
• Self-managing, critical mass
Promotion & marketing outside Meetup
• e.g. community newspaper coverage of events, with press release & pictures that make it easy to cover
• let other groups know we’re here
Modeling other groups
• Ideas that work in bigger cities? - e.g. gardening swapping
That's great, Spencer! Very well put. Thanks for that. This group has a lot of energy and potential. I'm looking forward to the next planning meeting.